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Prevention magazine: we're watching you

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Last week I wrote about one instance of Prevention magazine using inaccurate language to describe an observational study. Today I found more examples in the May issue – this time inaccurate language used repeatedly in one article, “12 Power Health Moves.”

It tells readers they can “lower risk of dementia 19%” if they “serve fish tonight.”
Or they can “live five years longer” if they “sip some Merlot.”
Or the 400% drop in risk of head and neck cancer by brushing and flossing.

Each of these blurbs came from observational studies, from which you can’t prove cause and effect. Therefore it is simply inaccurate to say you can “lower risk” or “live longer” based on this kind of evidence.

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The MSN health and fitness site republished a form of the Prevention article – although with some of the hyperbole stripped away.

I don’t normally see Prevention magazine. I had one of those use-them-or-lose-them frequent flyer point deals where I could subscribe to magazines instead of just throwing the points away. So, Prevention, we’re watching you.

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